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Thread: can borderline Diebetes lead to pancreatic cancer

  1. #1
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    can borderline Diebetes lead to pancreatic cancer

    does or has anyone heard of diebetes leading to pancreatic cancer.as my dad was told he was borderline diebetic at one point ,but nothing was done,and then in march of this year he was told he was diebetic.but later in april to find out he had cancer on his pancreaous.and shadows on his liver.my father passed away on june 27 of this year,but i cant seem to put to rest the fact that something was overlooked....he also had an operation last april 2010 due to a perfurated ulcer in his stomach,and never really was the same after that..his tummy never healed from having a drain tube inserted as the infection was leaking..could he of had cancer at that time and was not tested for that?

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    Administrator Top User brainman's Avatar
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    Hi hoots. I will reply and if I am wrong someone will be along soon to correct me.

    I do not thing even full blown Diabetes leads the Pancreatic Cancer. However, I have heard of the revers (PanCan leading to Diabetes). Since the Pancreas produces Insulin, any cancer that affects that production can lead to Diabetes. Here is way I think could have happened with your father. First, he had a case of undiagnosed Pancreatic Cancer. The cancer started to affect the production of Insulin which was easily diagnosed and borderline diabetes through a simple blood test. Usually, the only thing they do in cases of borderline diabetes is to recommend a change in diet. However, as the tumor grew, the amount of Insulin decreased to the point where 1. He was diagnosed with full blow Diabetes and 2. He started showing symptoms of the PanCan. Most of his other problems where due to the Diabetes and not directly due to the cancer. My hunch is that your last question is correct.

    I am so sorry that your father died. My father also died of cancer... another cancer but still cancer.
    Jim
    Long-term cancer survivor
    1992 Astrocytoma grade 2, left motor strip
    2005 Recurrence this time said to be an Oligodendroglioma grade 3, same location.
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2405
    My Story Part 1: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2528
    My Story Part 2: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?p=7350
    My Story Part 3: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=8029

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    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
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    Hi hoots,

    I'm so very sorry about the loss of your Father. My sincere condolences.

    Brainman is right. Diabetes is the natural fallout of pancreatic cancer. Sometimes pc is very hard to diagnose. I've known a person who went for months with pancreatitis and then passed away. Not sure if it was ever declared as cancer or not.

    Your Dad may have had the beginnings of pancreatic cancer when they did his stomach surgery, but that's playing Monday morning quarterback, and the doctors wouldn't necessarily have seen it. If he wasn't presenting with any of the symptoms, then it can be murky.

    I can see you are struggling to find the answers and I don't blame you. You need to put things in a good perspective in order to move on with the grief process. It sounds as if they did things in the right way, unless there is more to this left unsaid.

    I wish you well and ask God to give you peace.

    PBJ
    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

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    My mom was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

    Hi, I'm new to this board. My mom was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a week ago. Still not sure what her stage is, but I fear it is IV.

    She was diagnosed with diabetes last year and immediately started to lose weight, which they attributed to the medication. Last Tuesday, when we got her PC diagnosis, I asked her doctor if the diabetes was triggered by the pancreatic cancer last year and he said it absolutely could have been. Very frustrated that a CT scan wasn't done sooner, but what is done is done and now we just have to try to buy her as much time as possible.

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    I am so sorry about your mom's pc diagnosis. My mom passed away from pc on June 7, 2011. It's a beast of a disease. Stay on top of things, be there for her and don't neglect yourself. Good luck and my thoughts and prayers are with you. Keep us posted.

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    thank you and i'm very sorry you lost your mom to this horrendous disease in June. Do you mind if I ask how long she lived from diagnosis and did she outlive their estimates, if they gave you any?

    you have walked in the shoes i'm walking in. it's so difficult and confusing trying to figure out which direction to head in...we are just getting started. Hopkins' Dr. Cameron today said inoperable, but I just learned of Dr. H. Richard Alexander at the University of Maryland, who is supposed to be as brilliant and perhaps a little more aggressive, so that's our next step for a second opinion, as well as checking out nanoknife and chemo options.

    i lost my best friend to pancreatic cancer 2 years ago...it now feels like i'm living a nightmare again. as a breast cancer survivor i have plenty of experience in the cancer world, but have to say the pancreatic cancer world is a much more difficult one to navigate and live in. Thank you for your well wishes, jenn, and, again, I'm very sorry you lost your mom. I will keep you posted.

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    Administrator Top User Kermica's Avatar
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    I, too, am sorry for the losses and illness you have all written about. my heart goes out to you all.

    I am always loath to contradict my friends Jim and PBJ but, regarding PC and diabetes, it seems that there is, in fact, a significant link between the two disease including when diabetes comes first. According to the Mayo Clinic there is an 8x increase in risk for PC if a person is diagnosed with diabetes after age 50. There is a slight correlation for those diagnosed before age 50 but it is small enough to be considered statistically insignificant. But for those over 50 the risk is real. For those who lose weight after onset of diabetes, the risk seems to be even greater than for those who don't lose or who gain weight. I found many references to this when I searched but here is an especially clear article from the Mayo Clinic on the subject:

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-ed.../july-31a.html

    So, overall the risk is small but if you are diagnosed with diabetes after age 50 it is a subject to discuss with your doctor since it seems the risk is real and paying attention to it can lead to early detection, which is always a good thing.

    Good health,

    kermica
    Last edited by Kermica; 07-20-2011 at 09:15 PM.
    When the world says, "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
    ~Author Unknown

    Age 63
    Follicular lymphoma diagnosed August 08, Stage 1
    2 cycles (20 treatments each) localized radiation to tumor sites. Remission confirmed July 09
    Restaged to Stage 3 May 2010
    Recurrence confirmed May 2010 - Watch and Wait commenced - multiple scans with minimal progression.
    Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma diagnosed September 2012. Mohs surgical excision 09/2012. Successful, clean edges all around.
    Significant progression detected in PET scan - December 2012
    Biopsy to check for transformation 1/18/2013 - negative for that but full of lymphoma, of course.
    July 2013 - Rescan due to progression shows one tumor (among many) very suspect for transformation, another biopsy 8/12/13.
    August 2013 - No evidence of transformation, 6 courses of B+R commence 8/29 due to "extensive, systemic disease".
    February 2014 - Diagnostic PET scan states: Negative PET scan. Previous noted hypermetabolic cervical, axillary, iliac and inguinal lymphadenopathy has resolved. Doctor confirms full remission.
    June 2014 - started 2 year maintenance Rituxin, 1 infusion every 3 months. Doctor confirms lump under right arm are "suspicious" for recurrent disease, deferring scans for now.

    Remember the Rules!

  8. #8
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    Kermica - I don't know a whole lot about diabetes but I do know about a year before my mom was diagnosed with pc, her primary doc said she was borderline diabetic. Then suggested she had this, had that, had another thing. None of her tests showed results that were off the charts and all this doctor wanted to do was test, test, test. Hindsight, of course is 20/20 but at the time my mom felt well and no one could see a reason for her to take a myriad of prescriptions and endless testing when she was feeling great. She found a different doctor who also ran tests but found nothing significant. So now I do wonder if diabetes is indicitive of the development of pc.

    GSG, my mom was diagnosed on April 8. She was not a candidate for surgery. Initially she was told chemo and radiation would shrink the tumor and she would be able to live at least a year. The doctors decided she was ineligible for chemo or radiation. We were told that within three months the tumor would grow and choke her intestine so she would not be able to eat. They said she would have six months. She had two stents to relieve jaundice - both times became infected and caused severe pain. When we pushed the doctor and nurses on the infection we were told, "oh that's just her guts." (sorry for the graphic). My mom, my best friend, and the best grandmother ever passed away June 7 - one day short of two months from diagnosis. I really don't mean to bring anyone down. And everyone IS different. There IS always hope that someone will defy the odds. So please, do not give up hope. But also, be prepared for what lies ahead.

  9. #9
    Administrator Top User Kermica's Avatar
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    Hi jennpalb, I am very sorry for your loss and for the short time you had with your Mom after diagnosis. If you read the article that I posted you will find that your Mom's situation is not that unusual, unfortunately. What I got from it (and others that I read) is that if you are diagnosed with diabetes, you are over 50 and you start to lose weight then you should press your doctor to consider PS. The conclusive test for the disease is invasive and, in early stages, often inconclusive so even if everything described above was true it still may not have made a difference.

    Pancreatic cancer is one of the insidious ones - hard to detect and, all too often, deadly. I think the correlation above is a good one to know about for all of us and the real message is, if suspicious with cause, press your case hard as it could make a difference.

    Good health,

    kermica
    When the world says, "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
    ~Author Unknown

    Age 63
    Follicular lymphoma diagnosed August 08, Stage 1
    2 cycles (20 treatments each) localized radiation to tumor sites. Remission confirmed July 09
    Restaged to Stage 3 May 2010
    Recurrence confirmed May 2010 - Watch and Wait commenced - multiple scans with minimal progression.
    Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma diagnosed September 2012. Mohs surgical excision 09/2012. Successful, clean edges all around.
    Significant progression detected in PET scan - December 2012
    Biopsy to check for transformation 1/18/2013 - negative for that but full of lymphoma, of course.
    July 2013 - Rescan due to progression shows one tumor (among many) very suspect for transformation, another biopsy 8/12/13.
    August 2013 - No evidence of transformation, 6 courses of B+R commence 8/29 due to "extensive, systemic disease".
    February 2014 - Diagnostic PET scan states: Negative PET scan. Previous noted hypermetabolic cervical, axillary, iliac and inguinal lymphadenopathy has resolved. Doctor confirms full remission.
    June 2014 - started 2 year maintenance Rituxin, 1 infusion every 3 months. Doctor confirms lump under right arm are "suspicious" for recurrent disease, deferring scans for now.

    Remember the Rules!

  10. #10
    Administrator Top User Kermica's Avatar
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    Hi jennpalb, I am very sorry for your loss and for the short time you had with your Mom after diagnosis. If you read the article that I posted you will find that your Mom's situation is not that unusual, unfortunately. What I got from it (and others that I read) is that if you are diagnosed with diabetes, you are over 50 and you start to lose weight then you should press your doctor to consider PS. The conclusive test for the disease is invasive and, in early stages, often inconclusive so even if everything described above was true it still may not have made a difference.

    Pancreatic cancer is one of the insidious ones - hard to detect and, all too often, deadly. I think the correlation above is a good one to know about for all of us and the real message is, if suspicious with cause, press your case hard as it could make a difference.

    Good health,

    kermica
    When the world says, "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
    ~Author Unknown

    Age 63
    Follicular lymphoma diagnosed August 08, Stage 1
    2 cycles (20 treatments each) localized radiation to tumor sites. Remission confirmed July 09
    Restaged to Stage 3 May 2010
    Recurrence confirmed May 2010 - Watch and Wait commenced - multiple scans with minimal progression.
    Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma diagnosed September 2012. Mohs surgical excision 09/2012. Successful, clean edges all around.
    Significant progression detected in PET scan - December 2012
    Biopsy to check for transformation 1/18/2013 - negative for that but full of lymphoma, of course.
    July 2013 - Rescan due to progression shows one tumor (among many) very suspect for transformation, another biopsy 8/12/13.
    August 2013 - No evidence of transformation, 6 courses of B+R commence 8/29 due to "extensive, systemic disease".
    February 2014 - Diagnostic PET scan states: Negative PET scan. Previous noted hypermetabolic cervical, axillary, iliac and inguinal lymphadenopathy has resolved. Doctor confirms full remission.
    June 2014 - started 2 year maintenance Rituxin, 1 infusion every 3 months. Doctor confirms lump under right arm are "suspicious" for recurrent disease, deferring scans for now.

    Remember the Rules!

  11. #11
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    Jenn, that story is horrifying. This disease is nothing but suffering. I do appreciate your honesty and realize this may be exactly what lies ahead for my mother. Such a helpless feeling. Thank you again for the post and I am very sorry for the pain you are in now.

    kermica, i really don't understand why doctors aren't more proactive with looking for pancreatic cancer, especially in the face of diabetes and rapid weightloss. (my mom lost 30 lbs since last year) absolutely mystified and frustrated with the care she received. She had been going to the doctor for a year for this...started feeling very sick on April 10th. It wasn't until I asked them on July 8th to look at her organs, saying I felt she had some kind of cancer, that they ordered the CT Scan and within an hour of it being completed, they were calling us to come in for the bad news. They kept running tests on her head--brain MRIs, ears, etc.

    I don't know if she could have been saved if they had run a CT scan last year, but it would have given her a better shot, for sure.

  12. #12
    Administrator Top User Kermica's Avatar
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    GSG the problem is a lack of tools, unfortunately, when we are talking about PC preceded by diabetes. Here is a paragraph from the Mayo Clinic article that summarizes the issue:

    "One test that can reliably detect pancreatic cancer, endoscopic ultrasonography, is an invasive and expensive procedure. Many insurance companies won't cover the cost of this study based on a diabetes diagnosis alone. In addition, having large numbers of people undergo this type of invasive test isn't feasible in many medical centers."

    It sounds like your Mom may be a classic case of the connection between the two, especially if her diabetes came on after she was 50 yo. I think another part of the issue is that not many GPs are even aware of this connection since PC is a relatively rare cancer and so often presents late in its process.

    That, again, goes to the need for the patient to be informed and willing to be assertive. I have no idea if it would have made a difference in your Mom's case but I do know it can make a difference in many cases of many types of cancer. Best wishes to you and your Mom.

    Good health,

    kermica
    When the world says, "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
    ~Author Unknown

    Age 63
    Follicular lymphoma diagnosed August 08, Stage 1
    2 cycles (20 treatments each) localized radiation to tumor sites. Remission confirmed July 09
    Restaged to Stage 3 May 2010
    Recurrence confirmed May 2010 - Watch and Wait commenced - multiple scans with minimal progression.
    Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma diagnosed September 2012. Mohs surgical excision 09/2012. Successful, clean edges all around.
    Significant progression detected in PET scan - December 2012
    Biopsy to check for transformation 1/18/2013 - negative for that but full of lymphoma, of course.
    July 2013 - Rescan due to progression shows one tumor (among many) very suspect for transformation, another biopsy 8/12/13.
    August 2013 - No evidence of transformation, 6 courses of B+R commence 8/29 due to "extensive, systemic disease".
    February 2014 - Diagnostic PET scan states: Negative PET scan. Previous noted hypermetabolic cervical, axillary, iliac and inguinal lymphadenopathy has resolved. Doctor confirms full remission.
    June 2014 - started 2 year maintenance Rituxin, 1 infusion every 3 months. Doctor confirms lump under right arm are "suspicious" for recurrent disease, deferring scans for now.

    Remember the Rules!

  13. #13
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
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    Guess you learn something new every day! The good news is I shouldn't lose weight.

    Jenn--- my sincere condolences on the loss of your Mom from this nasty cancer.
    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSG View Post
    Jenn, that story is horrifying. This disease is nothing but suffering. I do appreciate your honesty and realize this may be exactly what lies ahead for my mother. Such a helpless feeling. Thank you again for the post and I am very sorry for the pain you are in now.

    kermica, i really don't understand why doctors aren't more proactive with looking for pancreatic cancer, especially in the face of diabetes and rapid weightloss. (my mom lost 30 lbs since last year) absolutely mystified and frustrated with the care she received. She had been going to the doctor for a year for this...started feeling very sick on April 10th. It wasn't until I asked them on July 8th to look at her organs, saying I felt she had some kind of cancer, that they ordered the CT Scan and within an hour of it being completed, they were calling us to come in for the bad news. They kept running tests on her head--brain MRIs, ears, etc.

    I don't know if she could have been saved if they had run a CT scan last year, but it would have given her a better shot, for sure.
    thats where im at right now...dad went in last april 2010 with a perfurated ulcur in his tummy.emergency operation...in the hospital for a week to recover.sent home ,and from that day on dad was never really the same for the rest of the year until,he passed june 27 2011..he had drain tubes put in his tummy as there was an infection,that never really healed,always leaking from the hole they inserted with the tube,tummy getting bigger,as his hurnia was growing through his tummy muscles..gained a bit of weight,but few monthe around christmas started to feel not well.always full,tired,etc...i know doctors are not god...but when you dont heal right after an operation,would you not look more into other reasons,like maybe cancer.then being told he was borderline diebetic...that was the start of things right ther...i dont think diebetis comes on just like that in such a short time.so it was obviuosly his pancreaus right?being from a small town,this is why im upset..if we were to bring dad to the states with a wod full of cash in our pockets they would look deeper into dads sickness.i feel that they could have down more for my father.even 3 days before he passed we brought him to emergency,friday night,sent him home. saturday night,sent him home after waiting 3 hours to even get looked over,and it the mean time his is doising off in and out,his breathing is very deep and long awaited breathes..then finally on sunday after seeing him at home getting dulusional,and confused,mummbling like having rocks in his mouth,sleeping and waking up her and ther it was time again to call the ambulance..a fami.ly member of ours called a doctor he knew as dads family doctor would not admit him...we got dad in,waited outside emergency,as mom was with dad,..mom comes out and tells us the doctor said its terminal,and he has days or weeks...we get dad settled into his room,FINALLY,he gets admitted..say goodnight and give him a huge kiss,as he need much awaited sleep that he was not able to get at home because he was scared of going into acoma...next morning we get a call to come up to the hospital at 930 am..dad passed away with all his family at his side at 230 that afternoon...so yes i have unanswered questions that i want to know....i feel dad was not taken care of and looked deeper into his illness...this is why i want to see all of dads medical records from april 2010,till june 27 2011....like i mentioned,i know doctors are not god,but seeing dad go down as much as he did,there should have been more looked into ...hopefully i will get some closure as i think of this everyday and im doing it because dad would have down this for me...thank you,stacie

 
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